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Ways Of The South Essay

1440 words - 6 pages

Ways of the SouthIn a Rose for Emily, William Faulkner based his story on the south and its local history in the 1950's. He wrote the tale of Emily Grierson who was very mysterious and was fighting her own personal conflicts within herself. In this story Faulkner's commentary on the role of women in society is pretty clear; he believes that women are inferior to men, almost second class citizens. For example, Faulkner begins the story about Emily's death. When Emily died the whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respect and the women out of curiosity to see the inside of her house. In this example Faulkner portrayed women less honorable by stating the reasons why both the men and women went to Emily's funeral.In this writing, Faulkner also emphasizes the social class role during that time. Tobe, Emily's servant, was downgraded and dehumanized throughout the entire story. He was referred to by the judge as "that nigger of hers." That statement shows the dehumanization of blacks in that time because Tobe was never called by name from anyone but Emily. The townspeople never gave him the courtesy of calling him by name; he was referred to as the "Negro."The social class of that timeframe is also described by the townspeople's reaction to Emily's relationship with Homer. Homer was a day laborer and Emily came from a wealthy family. This gave the townspeople the impression that Homer was beneath Emily and it could not be so.In Battle Royal, Ralph Ellison based his story on the conflicts between the black and the white cultures. Battle Royal deals with racism and the suppression of the African American race and how it affected the actions of that culture. The main character was an African American who was raised in a predominately white area in the early 1950's. There was very little acceptance of non-white cultures during that time. The African American culture, even though they were free, had very few rights under the law. The white culture abused and socially mistreated the African Americans with racial slurs and classifying them as inferior to their own culture.The grandfather in this story, on his deathbed, told the main character he wanted him to put up a good fight. He explained how to the boy, the blacks life is a war and how he had been a traitor all his life since he gave up his gun back in the Reconstruction. The boy did not understand his grandfather's words being he was taught by the white culture to perceive himself and who he truly was as an African American male in society.The story describes several examples of the abuse and racial slurs. The white men at the boxing ring got pleasure from watching the black males beat each other to a pulp. The reason for the blacks to treat each other like this is they did what the white men said to achieve a different goal, and they were traitors to the white men. The main characters participation in the battle won him money and the chance to give a speech. The conflict in this...

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